The Moral Maze and Aid

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I was a “witness” on BBC Radio 4’s “The Moral Maze” debate show last night (13.11.13). The link is here. A good debate but it was remarkable that the issue of corruption and waste in emergency aid delivery did not even come up….

Photos from the Afghan Sandhurst at Qargha

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Photos from the Afghan Sandhurst at Qargha

 

America cares for its veterans; we betray ours (The Sunday Times Nov.11, 2013)

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The lack of support for retired soldiers shames us and must change Only fools, the desperate and the supremely dutiful may be drawn to join Britain’s armed forces in the near future. This is partly because the government’s cuts will render them too small and feeble to be used in anything but a symbolic defence of [Read more…]

"A Sandhurst in the Sand" (Full Version) Spectator Nov 2, 2013

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A strange hybrid beast is rising from the dust in the mountains West of Kabul. The foreigners in Kabul call it the Sandhurst in the Sand. Those who work at the new British-led military school that welcomed its first cadets last week prefer the more cumbersome “ANA-OA” short for Afghan National Army Officers Academy (though the [Read more…]

One Good Thing We Are Leaving In Afghanistan (The Spectator Nov.2 2013)

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One Good Thing We Are Leaving In Afghanistan (The Spectator Nov.2 2013)

 (full length version to come)  Kabul A strange new institution is rising from the dust in the mountains west of Kabul. The foreigners here call it the Sandhurst in the Sand. Those who work at the new British-led military school, which welcomed its first cadets last week, prefer the more cumbersome ‘ANA-OA’, short for Afghan National [Read more…]

Hargeysa International Book Fair, Somaliland

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I had the good fortune to visit the Somaliland Republic in August and attend the Hargeysa International Book Fair there. My photographs from the trip are available here on Facebook. My article on it for Chatham’s House new magazine The World Today is available on that publication’s site  or here on mine. I also did a post [Read more…]

Postcard from ... Hargeysa, Somaliland (The World Today Oct 2013)

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No 1 African literary festival: Somaliland buzzing with expectation No one would claim that the Hargeysa International Book Fair presents a threat to the Jaipur Literary Festival or its ilk. It will be a while before the capital of the Somaliland Republic – a country yet to be recognized by the world’s Foreign Offices despite 23 [Read more…]

A Haven of Jollity and Calm (The Economist "Baobab" Aug. 21st 2013)

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SOMALILAND’S BOOK FAIR THE still unrecognised republic of Somaliland has been parading its de facto independence from its battered bigger brother, Somalia, with an international book fair in its capital, Hargeisa. Along with the reopening of a revamped international airport, the fair was intended to show the world that Somaliland is open for business, especially with [Read more…]